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Nicholas Hancock

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Copyright  ©  2008 Nicholas Hancock.  Permission  is granted  to  distribute  in  any  medium, commercial or non-commercial, provided author attribution and copyright notices remain intact.



It took Blair nearly ten years to realise that the NHS was an insatiable monster whose appetite for blood was proportional to the number of fiscal gallons fed to it: the greater the supply, the greater its greed. By now this leviathan was gulping down some ninety billion pounds a year and panting for more: in 2006/7 claims against botched operations reached eight billion; the National Health IT system swallowed over twelve billion; costs . . . But it didn’t ever stop.

     Recently our Prime Minister experienced his Damascus. Already blind, he was on his way to slaughter Iraqis when suddenly there shone round about him a light from heaven, which he perceived dimly from within. He fell to the earth and heard a voice saying, ‘Phony, Phony, why are you persecuting me?’

    Phony (who is also called Tony), filled with a breakfast of buttered toast, went into the Cabinet Room. Here, alone with his conscience, he sat at the glorious curved table and saw everything in a flush.

     Trident! That’s it. Make a smoke screen – a mushroom cloud if you like – by pretending concern about a renewal of the programme in 2024 when I’m really looking at 2007 instead. No patients, no NHS overspend – indeed, no NHS. With the four Vanguard-class submarines each carrying sixteen Trident missiles equipped with three warheads apiece – that’s a hundred and ninety-two devices in all, every one of them packing a one hundred kiloton punch. Based on Hiroshima results, I guess this could mean 983,333 deaths per payload – over 194 million altogether, which, when you consider Britain’s population’s little more than a third of that, isn’t bad going. Additionally this solution of the health problem would come at the bargain basement price of just over three and a quarter billion pounds sterling – a mere 3.5% of the NHS budget. No mitral stenosis, no spondilosis, no rhinitis, no bursitis. So Faslane, here I come.

    Tony joined one of the subs – HMS Vengeance – in Scotland with Cherie, Euan, Nicky, Kathryn and Leo, accompanied by one of the reprieved consultants, a Dr Meadows FRCM. Together with HMS Victorious, they nosed out through Gar Loch and into the Clyde while HMS Vigilant and Vanguard hove to in the North Sea.

    The end for the National Health Service came in a rapid chain of one hundred and ninety-two nuclear explosions over the two hundred and forty-four thousand square kilometres of Great Britain. The sea boiled around them, and both Blairs and Vengeance crew had quickly to undress as their submarine battled furiously to avoid melt-down.

    All patients, actual or potential, died happily ever after, and the NHS budget plummeted to zero.